short and sweet! cancer is still kinda ok cancer.

a brief entry today – my GI doctor told me my treatment outline – chemotherapy, followed by surgery if the chemo is successful in shrinking all of the tumours.

it appears that my body has been stopping the progression of the cancer – both the primaries and the secondaries. this is why the secondaries are so large and atypical – normal secondaries are like ‘little fluffy clouds’ while mine are weird perfect spheres.  my organs have been containing the tumours in order to prevent them spreading – which means they are not aggressive, and it’s likely my treatment may not need to be aggressive. my complex feelings about my body – the hate and the fear – shifted into a warmth – a deep compassion, and a weird sense of gratitude for what it has- and what i have been doing for myself.  if that makes any sense? this is not to imply anything bad about the bodies of people with aggressive cancers – they too have bodies that deserve compassion, even if that’s hard sometimes – i struggle with it for me.  i’m not sure what i mean just yet – my feelings are, as i say complex about my organs, my bodily functions – as complex as they have been about my brain as a part of my bipolar disorder.

there are some possible bad things – the bowel cancer could grow to the point of obstructing the bowel, which means i’ll need immediate bowel surgery – or the cancer may not respond to chemo, which means there’s no point operating on it. the liver particularly is not good – they are actually taking up too much of my liver for my liver to be safely resected, because there would not be enough left. so i need the chemo to shrink them down.

again, the moment of adjustment – where good news seems like something that shouldn’t be good news.  but it is.  GI doctor told me to eat what i want, to exercise, and to do the things that matter to me. which means my non-refundable trip to melbourne i booked months ago to see a friend’s art exhibition can happen after all! i’ll be buying fruit for the hotel, and begging dinners off people – i refuse to use a cent of my cancer money which has been raised for a holiday as it seems really wrong to me.  plus i don’t each much anyway, and i have my weird no-onion-no-garlic-no-brassica thing happening anyway.  I AM FUN TO EAT WITH.

i’ve lined up my personal trainer again – he has experience working with people who are undergoing chemotherapy, and my doctor said exercise was one of the most important things for me to try and do. i’ll fire up my psychiatrist next, and psychologist and mental health nurse are sorted.  i talked to the cancer council today about organisations, and people, and STUFF i might need to know.  and i will set up a folder of bills and papers and things like that, because i am so bad at keeping track of where money goes and what it does.

right now, we’re in a position where i no longer need to worry about the mortgage and food so desperately.  i know i have been repeatedly saying how grateful i am for the crowd funding money, but to have that load lifted, to know that i have cash to do the things i need to do like the endless appointments and the scans, and the things alex and i need in order to keep a roof over our head and, most importantly, the cats in their kibble, and the bunnies in their meadow hay, means i sleep much better at night.  and i’m still hoping i have some left for the Cancer Council – the woman i spoke to today was compassionate, kind, and just listened.  though there was a moment of terror: she said she could set me up with a group of people who have advanced cancer. i stumbled a bit, suggesting my cancer was not advanced, and she very gently corrected me that if it had spread to a second organ, it was classified as advanced.  this is a scary word, but like all words the power comes from what we give to it.  and advanced doesn’t mean incurable.


About elizabeth

various things.
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4 Responses to short and sweet! cancer is still kinda ok cancer.

  1. greenspace01 says:

    your body is amazing. I’m not surprised the other liver specialist wants to see you. you’ve been containing the cancer, including the secondaries? and that’s why they’re neat spheres, instead of fluffy clouds? no wonder your had good liver function tests despite having the six tumours in there – you have super-awesome-clever organs that not only keep functioning despite cancer, they shape the tumours! sit, tumours! roll over, tumours! let’s hope your body and the chemotherapy (and I know there have been interesting developments in chemo for liver cancer, that have happened since my mum had liver cancer) can make those tumours play dead, and then do Honey I Shrunk the Tumours.
    and it would be fun to have a meal with you some time, or just a drink, and see what we could find that would accommodate all our food intolerances 😀

  2. Nikhilā says:

    your body is amazing! how clever to contain those tumours!

    And yes… trying to cook for me or going out to dinner with me is super fun… no garlic, onion, stonefruit, brassicas, wheat, soy, lactose, legumes… etc, etc, etc… salads and potatoes and rice are my friends now.

    We’ll have to sort out a fun meal to have when i visit.

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